Subtitled a “A Chiara Corelli Mystery” this is, I hope, the first in an extended new crime series. NYPD Detective Chiara Corelli has survived Afghanistan, Iraq and a life-threatening under-cover op routing out dirty officers, now she must suffer the blue wall of ostracism for turning in fellow cops, and at the same time be accused of being dirty herself.
To get back into real work Corelli needs a trustworthy partner/bodyguard or she will be consigned to desk duty. She is assigned the newly promoted Detective, P.J. Parker, daughter of a Senator who hates NYPD; an ex ADA with high flying credentials and fashion-plate suits.
Sparks fly as Corelli uses Parker as a whipping boy for her frustration and an outlet for her unacknowledged PTSD, while Parker fumes at her attitude and fights for her place in the Homicide squad. Assigned to a Wall Street murder with more suspects than an Agatha Christie novel, Corelli and Parker must fight hard to uncover the many layers of deception, while watching their backs as the Righteous Partners threaten Corelli and anyone close to her.
This is an excellent mystery and whodunit with well-developed characters, an interesting backstory and great potential. Corelli and Parker both have a huge pile of baggage, difficult relationships with their fathers and something to prove. Both are fighting for their careers in different ways, but their forced partnership develops with a great mix of antagonism and growing respect.
The action is face paced but nicely interspersed with moments of stillness and humanity. Corelli’s Italian-American family play a prominent role in creating a loving backdrop for a publically unloved figure. The mystery is multi-layered and, just like a good Agatha Christie, we really don’t know who actually did it until every layer is exposed. But the whole murder mystery is superseded by the threat to Coreli and her family which only a moral dilemma can resolve.
Well written, enjoyable reading. I literally can’t wait for the next one to see where Ms Maiorisi takes us with both the crime-fighting team and the prospective romance.
Did you know? If you purchase any of the books reviewed on the LRR from our Amazon shop or Amazon page links we receive a couple of cents per book which will help us support the Lesbian Reading Room GCLS Scholarship Fund.
(publisher review copy received)
To buy from Amazon.com – click here.
To buy from Amazon.co.uk – click here.